Mr Lohani is the seniormost railway official with more than one year in the board.
Holder of a Limca record, Lohani is an IRSME (Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers) officer. There is, however, no confirmation if the resignation has been accepted by the Railway minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Prabhu to "wait".
Mamata Banerjee had also offered to resign in 2000 after two train disasters, but her offer was rejected by then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
After the train accident on Saturday, the Railways Ministry sent three top officials on leave, suspended four local officials and transferred another over lapses.
"I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to the passengers and the loss of precious lives".
- Currently, Ashwani Lohani is the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India Limited since September 3, 2015. For that, you have to go back all the way to 1956 when Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then Railway Minister, resigned after taking moral responsibility for a train accident in Tamil Nadu which caused 150 deaths. He successfully piloted the nomination of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Expectations are high as Ashwani Lohani, known for the turnaround in Madhya Pradesh tourism corporation, takes over as Chairman Railway Board on Thursday. Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the derailment case and had said that no laxity would be allowed by the board.
Senior railway officials said Mital was not happy that senior officials of the ministry had to face the brunt of the fallout of the Utkal Express derailment. Back then, the general managers of the Central and South Eastern Railways were removed from their posts only to be rehabilitated in some other division as general managers in a few days.